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It wasn’t until I smelled Blackpepper by Comme des Garçons that I found what I had been seeking – a unisex fragrance that is unconventional, but not strange or weird, and a joy to wear and to smell.

Blackpepper was launched in 2017 by Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons.

Ok, the name, Blackpepper kinda gives a hint as to what it smells like but this fragrance is so much more than cheap heat. It’s a love affair that will last through the ages…or as long as CdG makes it.

Right off the top there is a glorious blast of pungent Madagascar pepper. Is it too much? Nearly, but no. The word is that nose Antoine Maisondieu made blackpepper 20% of the formula. But don’t worry, he knows what he’s doing, after all he’s created five other fragrances for CdG, and one of my all-time faves Fat Electrician for for Etat Libre d`Orange. Once the nose-tingling ends, austere, balsamy, cedarwood comes forward. I smell dark, spicy patchouli and resinous, musty oud too. It’s coming from rich, fragrant Akigalawood, a synthetic created at Givaudan that has an odour profile similar to patchouli but with spicy, pepper and agarwood facets. The woods elongate the warmth of the pepper and soften it, creating a gentle spicy, smoky glow. There’s a point about an hour into the fragrance when the woods and spiciness open up and allows a lush, fresh floral note to peek through – such a gorgeous surprise – before Tonka bean appears and sweetens it just enough. Oakmoss at the base grounds the woodiness and ads its own slight sweetness while a musky accord binds it all together.

For all the pungency it has at the opening, Blackpepper dries down to a beautiful spicy/woody skin scent. Unconventional, exceptional and so, so very wearable.

Notes: Madagascar pepper, cedarwood. Akigalawood (patchouli, agarwood), floral accord, Tonka bean and musky accord.

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Antoine Maisondieu

Price: $6.00